I have often times spoke on the necessity of being receptive to everyone, due to the fact that we all have various personalities, quirks, idiosyncrasies, flaws, ways of doing things actions and irritating qualities. It is necessary that we understand the issues that we all have we must be patient with everyone. It is extremely sad of us to have an undue fascination within ourselves to be impatient with others when we expect them to be patient with us. As children of God, we have an obligation to be forbearing with others to whom we possess the same qualities as they do; even though you may not think so. We may not possess the exact same issues they have, but we can be sure that we have other issues that bother them also. If I had the time I would point them out, but then, I would have to start with my own irritating qualities, and that would take up the rest of this Pastor’s Desk and the next five also. So therefore, I will move on.
It is important for us not to expect others to be patient with us, and then turn around and not have any patience with them. As a matter of fact, we are instructed in the Word of God to be long-suffering with one another, Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; (13) Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” The word “long-suffering” means “a state of being able to bear up under provocation,” or “patience toward others.” The word “forbearing” means “to be patient with one another.” As you can see, the Apostle Paul exhorts the Believers in the church at Colossae to be patient with each other regardless… We must not think that we are excused from exhibiting patience towards our brothers and sisters because they irritate us some way. As a matter of fact, The Lord expects us to go above and beyond to make sure that we exhibit patience.
I recently came across one of the greatest displays of patience aside from Jesus Christ. It is a story about a man named Edwin Stanton who treated President Abraham Lincoln with great scorn. He decried President Lincoln’s policies and called him a “low cunning clown.” Edwin Stanton had given him a nickname, “the original gorilla” and said that explorer Paul Du Chaillu was a fool to wander around Africa trying to capture a gorilla, when he could have easily found one in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln did not say anything in reply to Stanton. In fact, he made Stanton his war minister because he was the best man for the job. Lincoln treated Stanton with every courtesy. The years went on. The night came when President Lincoln was assassinated in the Ford Theater. Lincoln’s body was taken to a room off to the side where Stanton was present. As he looked down on the silent, rugged face of President Lincoln, Edwin Stanton said through tears running down his face, “There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen.” The patience of love had conquered in the end. We all should aspire to have that type of patience with others who oppose us.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor James Moore, Jr.